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Creator: Ohanian, Lee E. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 285 Abstract:
Between 1929 and 1933, real output per adult fell over 30 percent and total factor productivity fell 18 percent. This productivity decrease is much larger than expected from just extrapolating the productivity decrease that typically occurs during recessions. This paper evaluates what factors may have caused this large decrease, including unmeasured factor utilization, changes in the composition of production, and increasing returns. I find that these factors combined explain less than one-third of the 18 percent decrease, and I conclude that the productivity decrease during the Great Depression remains a puzzle.
Tema: O47 - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence, N12 - Economic History: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations: U.S.; Canada: 1913-, and E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
Creator: Ohanian, Lee E. Series: Staff report (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 248 Abstract:
This paper reviews The Defining Moment, edited by Michael D. Bordo, Claudia Goldin, and Eugene N. White. The volume studies how the Great Depression changed government policies, including changes in monetary policy, fiscal policy, banking policy, agricultural policy, social insurance, and international economic policy. I argue that a theory of policy evolution is required to answer how the Great Depression affected these policies. In the absence of this theory, the contributors provide insight into the question by showing how policies changed sharply in the 1930s with little or no historical precedent or by showing how policies were tied to political or other considerations unique to the period. While this volume doesn’t always provide answers to the questions posed, it does raise a fundamental issue in the analysis of government policy: Why during some crisis periods are bad policies adopted, whereas during other periods, they are not?
Tema: N12 - Economic History: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations: U.S.; Canada: 1913-